More than 1,200 workers atMotor Co. of Australia Ltd.’s Geelong and Campbellfield plants in Victoria are idled after a strike at a parts supplier hampers vehicle production.
The action was taken after 240 workers at plastics manufacturer Venture Industries Australia Pty. Ltd. went on strike following failed negotiations over voluntary redundancies.
uses the just-in-time manufacturing process with Venture and was affected within 20 minutes of the start of the strike.
“The cessation of parts delivery from Venture will result in the company standing down part of its assembly, stamping and engine plants from close of business on Aug. 23 until the supply of parts from Venture resumes,” Ford says in a statement. “This is a temporary action only and their jobs at Ford are not at risk. Other Ford employees will continue working.”
Venture, a former Ford unit that supplies the auto maker with plastic components including dashboards, has announced it is closing its Broadmeadows plant in Melbourne and moving to a new site on the other side of the city.
The Australian Mfg. Workers Union says Venture wants to make 230 workers redundant and will not guarantee the full entitlements of another 280 employees.
The union unsuccessfully sought last-minute talks with Venture in a bid to avert the strike and says it has the Industrial Relations Commission’s approval to take protected industrial action over the dispute.
Venture has A$25 million ($20.5 million) allocated for entitlements for 530 employees, but the supplier is targeting employees with 10 years or less of service for voluntary redundancies, the AMWU says.
“We voted overwhelmingly for an indefinite strike,” an AMWU spokesman says. “We basically felt we had no other choice. We’ve been forced into this position; this is our fight for entitlements.”